October 30, 2015 Last Updated 11:17 am

Wiley Publishing continues digital edition strategy, releases its 320th app for the iPad

‘Muscle & Nerve’ and ‘Transfusion’ are the newest professional journals released as iOS apps, a line-up of digital editions that also includes apps for the ‘Dummies’ books such as ‘Facebook for Dummies’ and ‘Ukulele for Dummies’

It is certainly fair to say that we are in a period of reflection when it comes to digital editions. Few new US and UK digital publications are being launched into the Magazines & Newspaper category (the former Newsstand category) and those launched elsewhere are hard to discover.

So, it is good to remember that by the end of the this year Apple will have sold its 300 millionth iPad, and many more iPhones. There is a huge market out there of readers using their digital devices, and many of those readers are coming to prefer their professional content be available at their finger tips, on those devices.

Muscle-Wiley-iPadThis likely explains why Wiley Publishing continues to launch digital editions for their professional publications. The two newest are Muscle & Nerve and Transfusion, both launched into the App Store this month.

These are hardly light reading magazines, and their subscription price reflects that. An annual subscription to Muscle & Nerve, for instance, costs $499. But it also explains why continuing to make these journals available in digital form might make economic sense.

To date, 320 app have been launched into the App Store under the Wiley Publishing developer account. Not all these are such dry, professional titles such as British Journal of Hematology or Journal of Mass Spectrometry. Mixed in with those titles are the Dummies line of book apps such as Body Language for Dummies and Facebook for Dummies (couldn’t have said it better myself).

This is why it would premature to proclaim that the digital edition is a dead concept. Instead it would be better to say that the idea that readers would move from print to tablet editions smoothly has not panned out. Instead, we are seeing readers use whatever digital device they prefer – be it smartphone, tablet or (dare I say it) phablet – and that publishers who feel it vital to reach these readers will continue to experiment with their digital editions.

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